The book 'Elvis - A Musical Inventory' by French writer Richard Boussiron, released by Music Mentor Books (UK) has been released.
This book has been announced and delayed several times but now it is finally out. Wondering if fans could obtain this book in the normal bookshops I called the American Book Centre store in Amsterdam. They never heard of the book or the writer and the ISBN number didn't seem to exist in their huge data base.
The book claims to hold information on Elvis' Sun Sessions that was never before made public, straight out of the personal notebooks of Marion Keisker (Sam Phillips' assistant). Flipping through the book I anticipated to see pictures or scan's from those notes but the writer states: 'Understandably, she was not prepared to let them out of her sight and Sam (Barnes - another researcher - RvL) was therefore obliged to manually transcribe all the data'. I would have liked to include some reproductions of Marion's notes in this book; unfortunately, it is not known what became of them after her death'. So we just have to believe the fact that Marion did make notes and that all the info printed here is correct.
To make things worse a.k.a. more mysterious, is the message on the back cover of the book: 'Richard sadly died in May 2004, shortly before this book went to press'. So, sadly, we never can ask him any questions about the things he writes. Even his picture is not in the book and typing his name at Google, you get only links to this book, no life for Richard on the internet before that to be found, or so it seems. And: the backbone of the book is based on the research of two men: Samuel Barnes and Graham Metson and, you've guessed it right, they are also already up in heaven...
Richard thanks a lot of well known people in his book for providing all kinds of information: Trevor Cajiao, Stuart Colman, Colin Escott, Ernst Jorgensen and Peter Guralnick... Names that ring bells for the true Elvis fans and names with credit, might I add. Have these people really 'assisted him' as he claims? 'I wonder, I wonder, I wonder...'.
The information on the Sun Sessions in sensational, to say the least. Many tapes are lost or erased, but Elvis sang a huge amount of wonderful stuff at Sun, if we can believe the info. Richard really did do a lot of research to the origin of each and every song and that is, I must say, great to read. We also get info on more acetates like 'Fool, Fool, Fool' that have been recorded but are reported lost. Everything is in here: from Elvis' childhood to his live performances. From the Sun Sessions to the first TV appearances.
If all the information in this book is true, the Elvis fans have a lot to pray, hope and search for. But since this is not the info that Ernst Jorgensen shared with us, we must stay critical about this so called 'factual information' and keep our feet on the ground. But, this is an interesting view into the start of Elvis' career. Hopefully more info from Ernst will come with his Sun Book next year, maybe Ernst can also give some info about his cooperation with this book.
Any info on 'mystery men' Richard Boussiron, Samuel Barnes and Graham Metson is more then welcome. Maybe someone else can shed any light on these people that makes this book and information more trustworthy.
For now: buy the book and enjoy all the info presented. And who knows, dreams can come true, you never know when you might get lucky.
Updated July 15 with reactions from Ernst Jorgensen And Ger Rijff on this mysterious book:
Here's a response from Ernst:
"I can assure you that none of these SUN titles have materialized at BMG. I think all intelligent fans will understand and believe that if we had any of such rarities we would have used them on ELVIS AT SUN."
I also talked to Ger Rijff today. His opinion is also that the book is a 100% fake: 'It is like the diary's from Hitler'. According to Ger Rijff no one ever saw the notebooks from Marion and the writer burnt everything behind him so no one could ask any questions. The writer was found dead in the Paris river the Seine by the way. The two american invesigators talked about are not known by anyone and it is not sure if they ever excisted at all. It all sounds like a good detective movie but the sad thing is that the book is mostly fake.
Decide for your self if you want to buy it but Ger Rijff states that: 'A joke is fine but this is going to far. It gives false information and raises expectations with the fans that will never be satisfied'.